THE Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) yesterday filed a drug trafficking complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima and seven others before the Department of Justice.
Also named as respondents in the 65-page complaint were former DoJ Undesecretary Francisco Baraan III, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) official Franklin Bucayu, De Lima’s former bodyguard and alleged boyfriend Ronnie Dayan, her former security aides Joenel Sanchez and Jose Adrian Dera, convicted drug-lord Jaybee Sebastian and Wilfredo Ely, alleged bagman of Bucayu.
The VACC charged the respondents with violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 which prohibits the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any dangerous drug and/or controlled precursor and essential chemical.”
Under the law, the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P500,000 to P10 million shall be imposed on any person who will be found guilty of the offense.
The complaint was filed in connection with allegations that De Lima in conspiracy with the other respondents benefited from the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prisons during her term as justice secretary.
Jimenez accused the respondents of being involved in the illegal drugs trade inside and outside the NBP from 2012 to 2016.
“Respondents Sen. de Lima, Bucayu, Dayan, Sanchez, Jose Adrian Dera and Jaybee, were able to conspire with one another in perpetuating a massive drug trade inside the Bilibid through the influence and power exercised by the Office of the Secretary of Justice, through then Secretary de Lima,” the complaint read.
It added that De Lima used her authority to appoint and designate men inside the Bilibid in order to ensure the easy illegal drugs transactions in the prison.
On the other hand, the VACC said Sebastian acted as one of the lieutenants of De Lima and Baraan who see to it that drug lords inside the prison comply with the demand to sell drugs.
The group accused Dayan and Sanchez of being the bagmen of De Lima who were responsible for collecting drug money from Sebastian.
The VACC used as basis the testimonies given by convicted inmates led by Herbert Colanggo during the hearing of the House Committee on Justice on the illegal drug trade inside the NBP.
The VACC noted that Colanggo and several other witnesses were able to give details on how the illegal drug trade was being conducted inside the NBP with the protection and intervention of De Lima and the help of the other respondents.
Colonggo also testified that he started giving money to De Lima through Sanchez from October 2013 allegedly for her campaign fund amounting to P3 million amount until the so-called 19 high-profile inmates including him were transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation in December 2014 to pave the way for Sebastian taking control of the drugs operation in the NBP allegedly with the blessing of De Lima.
“For all the advertisement she contracted during the election campaign, where would she get the money from? One could not turn a blind eye on her actual source of fund. She had generous benefactors from inside the Bilibid. This explains why she never had second thoughts in running for one of the highest political positions in the country,” the complaint said.